Just to set the record straight I will let you know that I live in suburbs of Seattle and although I do promise to live up to the title of the blog (i.e. Anywhere) my posts will obviously be somewhat lopsided towards Seattle!
Anyway my wife was sharing some of my knowledge of New York food with others and somebody suggested I try a place called “Bambino’s East Coast Pizzeria”. Never one to ignore a recommendation for good New York Pizza I took a “long” lunch break from work and headed into Seattle to try a slice.
Bambino’s is a fairly nondescript pizza joint located near the Seattle Space Needle. They opted to use a somewhat vague description to describe the regional nature of this pizza. However the web site makes it very clear that this is intended to be a “New York” pizza place.
For those of you not from New York I will briefly mention that there are really two types of New York Pizza. There is the original New York Pizza which is usually cooked in a coal oven and often only sold by the pie (For those of you familiar with New York I am talking about Lombardi’s, John’s, Grimaldi’s, Patsy’s, Totonno’s). Then there is the more familiar slice of New York pizza you can find on almost every street corner in New York. These pies are usually cooked in gas ovens, use shredded mozzarella cheese, and usually come by the slice.
The first thing you can tell when you walk into Bambino’s, is that they are aiming to be the “Lombardi’s” of Seattle. The key indicators are the wood burning brick oven and the inability to purchase a slice! They have a fairly large menu, but I went for my usual staple, a plain pie. I was out the door with my pie in hand in under 10 minutes! When I opened the box I have to admit I shed a tear because I had what looked like a New York style pizza. The crust was thin and crispy yet pliable and the cheese did not blanket the entire pizza. I could even smell the fresh tomatoes that were used. My first bite was a bit like being teleported back to New York! The taste was excellent and overall is was a very good rendition of a traditional New York pie.
I had a few issues with Bambino’s. The crust was a little over done for my taste. In addition I found the pizza crust a touch to thin. Both of those criticisms are debatable since they depend on ones preference. Regarding the restaurant itself, it felt a bit empty and impersonal. Like someone wearing clothes to big, I almost felt as if the location was larger than the restaurant needed. I also wish they served pizza by the slice. Many a New York Pizza Snob would disagree on that last statement, but to me food is part taste and part experience and part of the New York food experience is ordering pizza by the slice.
Anyway to sum it up if you are looking for New York food in Seattle and specifically pizza I highly suggest you try Bambino’s East Coat Pizzeria. Next time I visit I am eager to try the many Italian deli sandwiches (which are claimed to be New York Style) on the menu. For more information check out the maps and links below.